My Move to Medium

For a long time, I had my own blog at one place or another. For a while, it was just at explosion-pills.com, then I popped up ghost on a DigitalOcean droplet at blog.explosion-pills.com. Finally, explosionpills.com became available, and now blog.explosionpills.com redirects to this medium blog that you’re reading through CloudFlare.

Deciding to move to Medium

I personally know a couple of people who use Medium as a blogging platform, and of course I follow a lot of famous or semi-famous people who blog directly on Medium. It has functionality that I can’t take the time to implement in blogging software that I manage myself even if I think I could theoretically do it. Here, readers have access to comments, highlighting, and of course a broad network of content creators.

While blogging for me has generally been personal, it would be nice for some of my posts to get more visibility because they are published to a larger network. I may get the opportunity to help some people or get some feedback.

Finally, Medium is a managed service, and I love managed services. I try to use them as much as possible. My Digital Ocean droplet was costing me $10 a month to host a blog, and Medium gives me the option to host a superior blog for free. I was also able to import my old blog posts into Medium, and although there were some formatting issues I had to correct and none of my Github gists got imported naturally, it was still a fairly easy transition.

One thing I don’t like about Medium is the editor. I’m actually writing this in Markdown on a Github gist, and I plan to publish all of these posts as gists as well before importing them into Medium. A Markdown editor would be very nice, but the ability to simply add gists for code examples is great.

My future plans for downsizing

I’d like to get rid of as many accounts as possible. I have way too many accounts floating out there — Github, Heroku, Medium (although this is connected to Google), Twitter, and a lot more that I have probably completely forgotten about and wouldn’t remember the password for anyway. I’d like to destroy as many of these as I can or use single sign on options whenever possible. I’d like to pick the best SSO option as well — probably Google, although many apps only support Facebook. I also like using Github for development-related sign ons when it’s an option, but Google is more universal. I’m still waiting on that digital driver license…

I’ve been using my DigitalOcean droplet for a bunch of silly small projects including my blog. The cost is far from prohibitive, but now that I don’t need it for the blog anymore, I’ve shut it down. After I’m comfortable, I plan to delete my DigitalOcean account entirely … if that’s possible. They have served me well, and I highly recommend DigitalOcean as a platform, but I use AWS in my day-to-day at work so I’ve become much more familiar with it. I also enjoy using Heroku quite a bit, although I haven’t had the opportunity to do so in a while. It still annoys me that it’s a separate account and I can’t log into it through Google or something like that, but I can pop up simple apps for free. Doing this on AWS is not as straightforward, but it is also a possibility. Static websites can be made practically free with S3.

I’m using A Small Orange to host some other sites, mainly aysites.com — my Bookmarks-as-a-Service app that I came up with a few years ago and still use to this day. I wrote it on an old LAMP stack with just jQuery on the frontend, and I think it’s time for a rewrite that I can host on AWS that won’t cost me $25 a year that A Small Orange is costing me for my shared server … not that that’s a lot. However, this is just one more thing to manage, and although I do it far less often now than I did before, I’d really like to move to managed services. If I could, I would cut and run entirely, but I still use aysites.com quite a bit. I’m not sure if anyone else is using it, but this is a warning to anyone — it’s going to be replaced with something totally fresh. I hope you’ve saved your Bookmarks. Now that Google Chrome sign in is a thing, though, it’s far less useful.

Once that rewrite is done, I’ll be able to shut down my A Small Orange server, but I will keep the account for the domains that I own since I purchase them through ASO. I just wish I could remember the password to my account and that ASO’s forgot password functionality were working right now!

Once that’s all done, I plan to start working on more apps in my free time. I’d like to create five this year, and I have a couple of ideas already … but a quarter of the year is already gone, so I’d better get moving. These will be hosted on AWS, although using Heroku for some things may be a possibility. I will also need some CI and other such accounts, but I think I can at least get these through Github. Npm also requires a separate login. Ack.

Anyway… hello, Medium.

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